Certificate in Budget & Public Finance

The certificate in budget and public finance provides course work in the theoretical and practical foundations of public budgeting and in the formulation and evaluation of public budgets, as well as the complex choices of economic reasoning in response to resource allocation in the process of formulating and implementing public budgets.

This certificate is particularly suited for those who are, or envision becoming, budget analysts or financial management officers in public agencies at any level of government.

Certificate Benefits


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Curriculum Covers Theory and Practice

The certificate in budget and public finance can be completed by taking courses at GW's Foggy Bottom campus. The courses in the certificate provide a background in budget policy and process, characteristics of public revenue and expenditure, and governmental accounting and financial reporting.


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Expert in the Field

Learn skills for today if you are, or envision becoming, a budget analyst or financial management officer in a public agency at any level of government from the top-ranked program in public finance and budgeting, according to the most recent U.S. News & World Reports ranking of graduate programs.


Admissions Requirements

Students applying to the graduate certificate program in budget and public finance do not need to submit a GRE score. Applicants are required to meet the admission standards for admission to the Master of Public Administration or Master of Public Policy degree program.

Relation to the Master's Programs

If you begin the certificate and decide to apply to the MPA or MPP degree program, you must apply by the posted deadline and meet the admissions requirements of the program. Up to nine credits of your certificate coursework taken prior to admission to a degree program will be accepted in the master’s program within two years of completing the course and if a grade of B or better was earned in the course. If you’d like to have all 12 credits apply toward a degree, you need to apply and gain admission to the degree before registering for your fourth course. 

Course Requirements

Certificate students enroll in regular courses of the Trachtenberg School and earn graduate credit. 

The certificate features one required course and a selection of any three additional options to help you get the skills and experience you need.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits, including 3 credits in required courses and 9 credits in elective courses.

PPPA 6005Public Budgeting, Revenue, and Expenditure Analysis
Three of the following:
PPPA 6048Financing State and Local Government
PPPA 6051Governmental Budgeting
PPPA 6052Tax Policy Analysis
or PPPA 6054 Issues in Federal Budgeting
PPPA 6053Financial Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
PPPA 6055Contracting Out and Public–Private Partnerships